Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Michael D. Coovert, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Paul E. Spector, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Joseph A. Vandello, Ph.D.


cyberclimate, cyberpsychology, perceived vulnerability, personality, policy adherence


As organizations have become more reliant on computers and technology to operate in a globalized world, they have also become more vulnerable to cyberattacks on their networks. The expense to organizations from cyberattacks now exceeds $400 billion USD annually. These costs highlight the need for behavioral research in the cyber domain. The first phase of this research developed an instrument to measure workers’ cybersecurity attitudes. An iterative process resulted in a scale with good psychometric properties - The Cybersecurity Attitudes Scale. The scale measures two factors: cyber policy adherence attitudes and perceived vulnerability to a cyberattack. The second phase of this research used the theory of planned behavior as a theoretical framework to model the relationship between personality facets, policy adherence attitudes, perceived vulnerability, locus of control, cybersecurity climate, and cybersecurity behaviors. While the hypothesized model had poor fit for the data, there was a strong relationship between cybersecurity attitudes (i.e. policy adherence attitudes and perceived vulnerability) and dutifulness, altruism, compliance, cybersecurity climate, and cybersecurity behavior. This research provides practical value to academic researchers and organizations by providing a scale to measure cybersecurity attitudes and to help organizations better understand the nature of the antecedents that lead to cybersecurity attitudes and behavior.

Included in

Psychology Commons